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With vacation time just around the corner, now is the time to start planning what you want to take with you. Many items are now restricted on airplanes, so you need to get a list first thing in order to know what is and what isn't allowed. There are a few things you can have ready ahead of time that will end up saving you valuable minutes as you're doing your final packing. Below is a list of some things you might want on your list. Most of these items, you can have ready to place in your luggage when you begin to add clothing, etc.
I print out several lists and keep one in every piece of luggage, noting which piece of luggage things are in when possible. You will not believe how much time this is going to save you in searching for what you need when you need it. Keep in mind that everybody's list is going to be a little bit different. Only you can predict what your family might want or could possibly need. You'll be adding and deleting from this list every year for the rest of your life, so don't feel that you need to carve it in stone.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
Getting ready for a trip used to be such a hassle for me. Trying to gather up all the necessities, hoping I didn't forget anything, invariably finding out I did forget something. Plus I'd wind up taking 4 huge suitcases for a 3 day trip because of everything I was taking. Then I decided to get organized.
Now I have a bin in my bathroom that I have labeled "Travel". In it I have travel size bottles for shampoo/conditioner, lotions, mouthwash, a small spray bottle for hair spray, and all the other things. There's even a mini hair dryer in there. In this bin I also keep travel size pet food dishes, and any other travel size pet needs. And there are 2 seven day pill dispensers for any meds I may be on.
On my computer I have a file titled "Travel" and 3 sub-files under it titled "Summer", "Winter", and "Spring/Fall". Each sub-file has a list of everything I will need for a trip during that season of the year. The only thing I have to do is go through and put how many of each I will need depending on how long I will be gone. Then I print out the list and put it in a page protector and put it in my suitcase.
As I pack I refer to the list, checking each item off as it gets packed. The night before leaving I go through and recheck the list against the suitcase just to be sure. This way I know I have everything and nothing is forgotten.
Now if a last minute trip comes up (which happens a lot in our family!), I can be packed and ready to go in a matter of 1-2 hours, and not have forgotten a thing.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
This is a travel organizer tip for in your suitcase. Go to the fishing department at Wal-Mart or similar store. They have small sized tackle boxes, plastic with sections on both sides.
When my children were kids, we would visit grandma 3-4 times a year and stay for a week at a time. With 3 kids and eventually 5 kids, I found it a necessity to make a list of things I needed to take for each child to be sure I had everything.
For small/short trips I lay out each outfit out, on the bed. I put shoes, socks, accessories, and even undies out for each day. I put each outfit on a hanger. Using zipper bags I put all my accessories and everything else in the zippered bag, then cut a small whole, and hang it over the hanger.
To ensure items are not missed when preparing for a trip, I have a spreadsheet with all the items needed to travel, whether for winter or summer. These include personal and business items.